There's been a big buzz around the next big piece of tech to hit UK homes in the coming year: the Smart Meter. But where is it? Originally, the Government announced plans to roll out Smart Meters to every UK home in 2015, but it seems like things might have been delayed slightly - until October 2016. So what does this mean for homeowners? Should you be annoyed at having to wait for your Smart Meter?
The Government's £11bn plan has been met with praise and criticism in equal measure over the past year or so, but what exactly will homeowners be missing out on by not getting them in time? Let's start by looking at the argument from both sides of the fence...
Why all the negativity around Smart Meters?
Smart Meters are designed to help you cut down on your energy usage; that's their sole purpose. They'll give you an accurate reflection of what's going on in your home and which devices are causing your energy bills to sky rocket - so where did the criticism come from? As with most things, it comes to money. To develop and install a standard Smart Meter, it costs around £200, and at the moment this £200 bill stops with the energy companies who have to install them. Every energy company in the UK is going to have to install Smart Meters into every one of their customers homes. You might think that's all good and well - after all, the energy companies are making a nice healthy profit aren't they? In fact, the £200 per household bill, is going to get passed onto us, the consumers. Energy companies will likely increase their prices incrementally in order to protect their margins and recover the installation costs of the smart meters.
Is it still worth it?
Being traders of energy efficient electric heating products, we think Smart Meters are a valuable and essential tool moving forward. The initial outlay from the energy companies, and the tiny but temporary rise in customer bills as a result, is completely worth it. With Smart Meters installed you'll be able to look closely at your household's energy habits and make changes that could save you money while also helping to bring down the UK's carbon footprint. You'll also have the added benefit of receiving no more estimated bills - you'll have online, up to date access of all the energy you use, so you can be confident that your energy bills are correct, and you'll know when to start being cautious if you've used too much. For those on a budget, and for the environment, they're great news.
If they're so good, why have they been delayed?
Let's get the dates clear. Initially, energy suppliers were due to start a full national roll-out in late 2015, to be completed by 2020, but the Data Communications Company (DCC) in charge of the system behind has announced, "there is no feasible way to maintain the timescales of the current plan". It is thought that this is because the Government changed some of the specifications and regulations around the rollout, which may have held a few things up. The DCC are run by Capita, who are now saying that the start date could be delayed until October 2016 - and they've openly admitted this could add £90m in further costs.
Many energy companies have come forward and criticised the Government's plan to make energy companies roll out Smart Meters to their own customers, saying it might well have been better to let network companies take on the jobs, region by region. Some think that this also might have been a cheaper solution.
A spokesperson for the DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) said, "The end date for completing rollout remains 2020". What are your thoughts on Smart Meters? Are you looking forward to receiving yours, or you annoyed that you might have to pay a little extra on your energy bills to receive one? Will the benefit outweigh the cost?
Eco Stores Direct are here to bring you the very latest in energy news, views and opinions from across the UK. They are also suppliers of energy efficient electric heating solutions and are constantly assessing the market for the best products and the latest ground-breaking technology which they think will make a real difference to their customer's homes. Eco Stores Direct are devoted to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and bring down your energy bills and they work hard to raise awareness of energy efficient products that can make all the difference. For more information on their range of energy efficient electric radiators or designer electric panel heaters, call one of their friendly team today on 0330 300 4444 for a free assessment.